Why you should talk to your kids on how COVID-19 virus spreads
By Surjit Flora
| April 16th 2020
The doctor found that the children's lungs also showed signs of viral pneumonia, but no external symptoms. Some scientists suspect that this is a typical feature of coronavirus infection in children. There is no doubt that children can be symptomatically infected or suffer from a mild illness.
number of news reports about the potentially lethal nature of the COVID-19
pandemic are particularly daunting for children who receive the news. So, how
can parents help their children cope with fear while maintaining awareness and
alertness? Discuss the best way to calmly discuss the virus with your child.
Ask them what they have heard about the virus so far and
have a conversation with them. Also, how much they have heard through the news
media. Explain the facts to your children and avoid rumors.
UNICEF, the CDC, WHO, and significant google research have
vast resources that can help you answer any questions on COVID 19. Nowadays,
children also use mobile phones and have access to information that might not
be age-appropriate and could frighten them, so direct them to sources of
information that are age-appropriate for them.
Be aware that the constant stream of information on the
television may not be age-appropriate for your child, but they may still be
absorbing it. Create a reassuring place for children to ask questions about the
virus but do not force the conversation if they do not wish to discuss it.
This is going to be a stressful time for families. It is
vital to keep a calm tone in the household and when discussing COVID-19 with
your children. Most importantly, get the support you need to help avoid taking
the stress out on the kids. This is the most critical. Address any mental
health problems that you are dealing with during this crisis, such as
anxiety/depression/substance abuse. Take a time-out. Stop if you begin to act
out of frustration or other emotions physically. Find someone to talk with or
watch your kids while you take a breather. Be careful about words you use
during outbursts with children as these can have a long-lasting negative impact
on their self-esteem. Join an online support group and take breaks from your
children (if possible) to take care of yourself - you will need this to avoid
the stress of constant parenting.
Parents need to sit with the kids and explain about the
virus and give them information to avoid.
Tell kids how the virus spreads
Explain to children that the virus can be spread from tiny
droplets in the air and can float around in the air for some time. Also, the
virus can be spread by touching your face, eyes, nose, and mouth, so it is
important to avoid touching these.
Explain to them that this is why handwashing is so
important. Teaching them proper handwashing is very helpful. This includes
washing in between fingers, back of the hand, around the thumbs. Wash their
hands at least 20 seconds and teach them a fun song that they can sing while
washing hands that will last that long, such as their ABC's twice. You can put
glitter on your hands and show them what happens if hands are not washed
properly. Start a tracking method to count how many times children wash hands
and reward them for good behavior.
Explain to them why we see masks on people's faces while
walking outside and why we are distancing ourselves from each other. Teach then
to stay away from strangers and to avoid crowds. You can use a spray bottle
with colored water to show how droplets can travel through the air to help them
understand how the virus spreads. Make sure they know that people can carry the
virus but not look sick, so it is important to practice social distancing with
all people outside of the house, not just people who look sick.
Teach them, cough and sneeze into their elbow instead of
Probably more accurate to say, 'the virus enters cells by a
receptor and makes the cell produce more virus.' This virus goes into the cells
completely, after breaking down the cells and regenerating them. The virus
spreads very quickly upon the hanging and dropping of any affected person.
Also, tell children that if anyone is hanged or sluggish,
stay away from them as much as you can.
Tell them that the virus spreads very quickly and can even
spread from asymptomatic people, which is why social distancing is important
even with people who don't look sick.
Tips to Teach Kids
-Keep hand sanitizer in children's pockets, asking them to
use them every frequently, but also explain that hand washing is a much better
way to remove the virus and to do this frequently.
- Teach them social distancing methods and to avoid crowds.
- Teach them to avoid touching their face or putting their hands
in their nose and mouth and to prevent rubbing their eyes.
-Wash your baby's hands after coughing and sneezing and wipe
down toys. Wash soft/plush toys in the laundry.
- If you are sick, please call your physician to discuss how
to quarantine at home with children and testing guidelines as these will likely
change over the next few weeks to months. Notify your pediatrician if anyone in
the house or any contacts are being evaluated for COVID-19.
- always use a napkin paper when blowing your nose and
discard the tissue in the trash and wash your hands afterward.
Surjit Singh Flora ,veteran journalist and freelance writer, Popular media commentator on current affairs in Brampton Canada.
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